Seems like decades ago to me now. I sat 13th row on the north side of the Marriot Center, watching Jimmer frustrate a top 10 San Diego State team led by Kawhi Leonard. I remember watching him walk the ball up to about 40 feet, stopping like he was going to run a play and then pulling up and hitting bullseye. I remember telling my dad we finally had another Danny Ainge, someone who’s college game would transition to the NBA. It’s not like the 3 point line was going to be a problem. Jimmer never really sniffed the college line, the college three was Jimmer’s mid range jumper. I wasn’t worried about lack of athleticism, he was already outmanned in that regard in college and regularly made NBA ready defenders look stupid. Now 3 years removed, I’m watching the Kings play on my iPad with Jimmer burried on the bench.
This begs the question. What the hell happened? How can the Kings not find a place on the court for a guy that shoots like I play blackjack, with 100% confidence and no reservation. There have been a few flashes, but nothing with any consistency. I present for your consideration the most likely reasons Jimmer hasn’t been successful (and no I will not ever consider blaming Jimmer)
Reason #1 – The Shoes
Remember the Spike Lee/Michael Jordan ads? “It’s gotta be the shoes” In Jimmers case, it just might be. As far as I can tell, Spalding (Spaulding?) went to Africa and took back every pair of “The Dreams” (see right) still in existence and re-packaged them as Jimmers first signature shoe. Now, I know every player needs to get paid, I get that. Spalding though? What kind of half ass agent allows this to happen. How does this conversation even happen?
Agent: Jimmer? (as if Jimmer isn’t their only client)
Spalding: Yes, we think he would be a great fit.
Agent: You know he is going to be a top ten pick right?
Spalding: Yes we are aware of that, but these shoes are really going to be great. We are the next big thing in the shoe game. (Mutes the phone so no laughter can be heard)
Agent: As long as the look good and are comfortable I think we have a deal
Spalding: Ya…..that’s not going to happen
Agent: Oh well, I’m running the show here, count us in.
Reason #2 Travis Outlaw/John Salmons
At what point does a coach sit down these two players down and say enough is enough? Travis Outlaw is six foot ten thousand with a ninety foot wing span and has never set foot inside the key. That’s what white European players are for. Get your ass inside! Layups are generally makeable. As for John Salmons, where do we start? The only thing more disconcerting than his shot selection is his awful goatee. At least Travis Outlaw is athletic. John Salmons at his best is an average WNBA athlete. The real travesty in all of this is the fact that the dumpster fire coaches the Kings have employed have allowed these two players to fire away. Even if Jimmer wanted to get his shot off, he’ll never get one with either of these two players on the court. Fortunately one of the two (Salmons) got traded. Keep your fingers crossed for just one more trade
Reason #3 Isaiah Thomas
He’s really good. I don’t like him, but he’s really good. I won’t say any more nice things about him, but he’s really good.